The battles kicking off across Wano continue. As the Straw Hats battle in the Flower Capital, they hear the twang of an approaching shamisen. Orochi's Oniwabanshu ninja arrive and add their force to the conflict, letting loose with gun biwas and arrow-launching helmets. Brook decides to very subtly join the action by doing a great leap and some sick licks on the guitar. Komurasaki is accosted by goons as she tries to escape. Sanji sees this, breaks away from his fight with X Drake and rushes to her aid, only to be cut off by Zoro who not only saves her but already knows her, crushing his heart on the spot.
Across Wano other events are stirring. Law goes to save his crewmates and finds Shachi and Penguin in prison. Hawkins confronts him and tells him that Bepo is being kept elsewhere because of Law's potent Devil Fruit power. Trafalgar is ready to fight, but Hawkins runs his blade along his arm - and Shachi cries out in pain. He has linked his life to Bepo, Shachi, and Penguin, sending a chill down Law's spine.
Back at the prison, Queen is putting Kid and Killer through the ringer. He has them hung upside down over a tank of water and lowers them beneath the surface. That would be lethal for anyone, and given that they are Devil Fruit users it will cause additional agony. Luffy is understandably infuriated by this, and tells Queen to restart the sumo competition. Queen mocks him for being so hopeful and goes to start the battle anew - when suddenly reports come from the prison guards and the earth shakes.
Big Mom has arrived...
An excellent episode and another great entry in Wano's continuing hit parade. We've got multiple high octane battles in progress, nearly all the major players are contributing, and the tension is still finding ways to ratchet upwards. The Toei team is doing more than just adapting Oda's excellent groundwork, they are adding that much more to the experience through their effort. I remember reading this in the manga and being generally excited, but this time around I'm getting amped up for what's coming.
I really appreciate the literal and figurative tone setting the Toei team has been putting into the Wano arc. From moody shamisen during the arrival of the Oniwabanshu to the single shakuhachi playing as Law strolls through city streets, from the hilarious layering of Sanji's ever-more-depressing goofy reaction face to the mono-color filter choices over Luffy and queen as they face off, it's a real treat of an episode.
Not to mention the actual fighting! Sanji always gets the love whether it's on the page or the screen and this episode is no different, The super-hot leg strikes against X Drake pop off the screen in such satisfying ways. The blistering impacts feel more realistic than a fight between a flying soba chef and a heavy metal dinosaur have any right to be.
Can't wait to see what the team has in store for us next week.